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Drivers in West Van among the most likely to crash into buildings, stats show

Adjusted for population, West Vancouver is tied with Delta for drivers crashing into buildings
A white Jeep sits lodged in West Vancouver Fire & Rescue's Hall No. 3 on Marine Drive in West Vancouver in September, 2017. | West Vancouver Police Department.

Drivers in West Vancouver are statistically among the most likely to crash into buildings in B.C.

The odd stat arises out of an incident in Kamloops and some analysis done by CFJC Today news director James Peters. After the driver of a Volkswagen crashed into a restaurant on Monday, locals speculated on social media that Kamloops might be the vehicle-into-building capital of B.C.

Peters pulled the stats from ICBC and cross referenced them with the local population numbers for similar sized and larger municipalities and found the local speculation wasn’t far off. With 46 driver collisions with buildings between 2017 and 2021, it worked out to one incident for every 2,010 residents.

However, with 24 crashes and a population of 44,412, West Vancouver was in a statistical tie with Delta for first place at one collision into a wall or building for every 1,837 people.

North Vancouver, meanwhile, has a rate of one driver-vs-building crash for every 3,047 people.

North Vancouver RCMP Const. Mansoor Sahak said he couldn’t speculate as to why the rankings shook out the way they did, but from his time on patrol, there is a fairly common theme in the investigations.

“People have to be really comfortable with which is the accelerator pedal and which is a brake,” he said. “I think that’s probably the main cause or the reason for these types of accidents.”

There was one incident in which the driver blamed their vehicle though, Sahak recalled.

“It was claimed that a Tesla drove by itself. We couldn’t confirm that. We did some testing and sent it for an inspection,” he said. “There was nothing to indicate that it was the Tesla [responsible for the crash], so that would indicate that there may have been a driver error.”

In any case, collisions with buildings are highly dangerous, Sahak stressed.

“If it hits a building, it could severely injure or kill somebody, because they don’t know who is behind that wall and it could jeopardize the integrity of the building,” he said.

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